Welcome to SeRiouS

Posted about 10 years ago

A basic truth of expert exam performance is that, to do well, you have to know the subject matter, inside and out.  Traditional studying methods don’t do help you to do that very well.  One landmark study found that within 24 hours of memorizing new information, only about 34% of it is remembered.  At a month, it’s down to 21%.  This is where SeRiouS comes in: by using spaced repetition, users will remember a projected 92% of the material – and not just for a few days – but for as long as they use SeRiouS.  And if that’s not enough, it ultimately takes less time to study and learn using spaced repetition than other study methods.

So how does SeRiouS work?  It begins by asking users to study an electronic version of the humble flashcard.  But, behind that electronic flashcard, is an algorithm based on a century of research and reams of scientific data.  The basic concept is that, whenever any person learns new information, they immediately begin to forget it.  The rate of forgetting varies from person to person, but predicting when a person will forget is easy to determine with the right information.  Scientists call this phenomenon “the forgetting curve.”  

As a SeRiouS user, for every flashcard you review, you’ll be prompted to report how well you know the answer after you’ve reviewed it.  If you know it well, you won’t see the card again for a longer time; if you struggled to remember, you’ll be shown it again sooner.  Based on your answers, SeRiouS’s algorithm customizes itself to your personal forgetting curve, and then uses that information to prompt studying at just the right time.

As users learn with SeRiouS, another well-studied scientific principle kicks in: the spacing effect.  The spacing effect says that, as long as people review information at the right time, they forget more slowly and need to remind themselves less often.  That means that to memorize a new concept for the long-term, one might have to review it after a day, but then not again for 3 days, and after that, not for seven days, and after that, not for 30 days, and after that, not for 90 days, and so on.

For first-year law students studying for contracts or property, evidence or torts, using SeRiouS will give them an advantage not just on their course-specific exams, but also years later when studying for the bar because the Multistate Bar Exam largely tests on topics covered in the first year.  That means when others are re-learning first year content for the bar material, SeRiouS users will only need to do occasional reviews of concepts they’ve banked in memory for the long-term.

SeRiouS isn’t just for 1Ls or bar preppers: people at all stages of their legal education can benefit.  Upper-level students can, of course, study SeRiouS core cards, but they can also create and collaborate with classmates to make sets of cards for other courses that aren’t bar tested, then share that set with everyone in their course.  SeRiouS even invites professors to join in by creating cards for students to use, or commenting on student-created cards.

As for the cards themselves, SeRiouS recognizes that it’s vital for students to study excellent cards.  To give the highest quality content, SeRiouS had law professors create and edit hundreds of flashcards for the topics most likely to be tested on the Multistate Bar Exam and in core law school courses.

SeRiouS works anywhere, on any device, with internet access.  iPhone, Droid, PC or Mac; or users can switch back and forth between them.  This means it works at the library, or at home, or at the bus stop.  SeRiouS updates constantly based on users’ work, and individual users’ data is stored in the cloud.  It’s there whenever, and wherever, you are.